By Ty Bartell
AUSTINTOWN OH- Since the first pitch of the high school softball season was tossed in the Austintown community, The Falcons have been on some kind of roll! Out-scoring their opponents 39 runs to 1 while compiling a 5-0 start to the season! During the hot start, The pitching of Sydnie Watts has, once again, been truly sensational! However, the defense being supplied behind her, along with the entire batting order being productive, has made The Falcons a team to be feared!
Starting week two of the campaign, Fitch welcomed All-American Conference (AAC) representative and longtime rival, The Boardman Spartans into town! The Spartans, coming off of last year, were a team of two halves. Perhaps not the regular season Boardman would have wanted a year ago, but the tournament run that went on with an incredible group of seniors was truly incredible! Headlined by Coach Fred Mootz The Spartans are looking to sharpen their teeth once again before the start of the tournament, while featuring a few new faces.
The circle featured “The Flamethrower” Sydnie Watts and Boardman tossed another strikeout machine in Gabi Sferra, who was averaging two strikeouts an inning heading into Monday! What was shaping up to be a clean first inning for both arms got thwarted in the bottom half of the first. Sydnie Watts lined a two-out double to right, then McKenna Hogan delivered with another clutch knock, plating the first run of the game, allowing Fitch to strike first 1-0. The two right handers would keep the offense scoreless in the second, before Fitch added to the advantage in the third. An error in the top half of the inning allowed Ayla Ray to get to second before Caitling Mitchell brought her home with an RBI-single! Advancing to second on the throw and later moving to third, before McKenna Hogan used a productive out on a sacrifice fly to extend the lead 3-0.
The Falcons kept their foot on the gas and found some power moving forward in the following inning. Fitch freshmen Abby Toth blasted her second home run of the season, a two-run shot to right-center that made it 5-0 before the lineup turned over and Ayla Ray crushed her second long ball of the season! Natalie Davis took over for Boardman in the fifth inning, after an injury-plagued year, no sweeter sight than seeing her back in the circle and doing what she loves! Davis would work a scoreless fifth and would return for the sixth. The Lone run given up by Davis in her two innings of work came on the second home run of the day and third of the season by Abby Toth! A solo shot in the sixth that made the lead 7-0 and Fitch never looked back!
Fitch (5-0) and Boardman (2-2) will wait little time before meeting once again on the softball diamond! As game two of this AAC classic is set to take place in Boardman on Tuesday, April 4th with a 5 p.m. first pitch! Interviews with Fitch Head Coach Steve Ward and Players of The Game Sydnie Watts and Abby Toth can be found below!